Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of your perfect wedding dress since you were a child, or maybe you’ve no idea which style would suit you best. Either way, when it comes to finding ‘the one’, there’s some key steps to consider to help take the stress away. As we approach busy engagement season, I've spoken to a panel experts to get their top tips on choosing a wedding dress that’s right for you.
1. Trust your bridal consultant
Scouring bridal magazines and online platforms and falling in love with a specific style of dress is a great starting point, but when you attend your bridal salon, trust the consultant. This means keeping an open mind if they suggest a different style, neckline or fabric than you had envisioned – you may find you absolutely adore it.
As professionals who help hundreds of brides find their perfect wedding dresses, bridal consultants know which dresses look best on people of various shapes and sizes. They’ll consider your skin tone, hair colour, unique body shape and personal style to help you find a dress that will take your breath away.
2. Shop true to size
Many brides vow to lose weight or tone up before their wedding days, but in reality only 18% manage to do so. Rather than adding another stressor to your wedding planning, trust that you look beautiful just as you are and resist the temptation to buy a dress that’s a size or two smaller than your regular size.
If living more healthily is a long-term goal, and you do change your body before the big day, you can always have your dress taken in. But bear in mind that it’s much harder to make a dress bigger – if in doubt, size up, not down.
3. Consider your venue
Depending on your venue, you may lean towards a particular style of dress for either practical or aesthetic reasons. For example, wearing a multi-layer princess dress if you’re tying the knot on a beach may leave you hot and uncomfortable. You should also consider whether you plan to wear your wedding dress for the entire day and reception, or if you’d like to change as evening falls.
Some dresses come with removable trains and overskirts, which make lovely options for brides who want a fairytale-esque dress for their ceremony but want to be able to dance freely come evening. Matching your venue to your dress will go a long way to ensuring your entire wedding look is utterly seamless.
4. Keep your theme in mind
Similarly, it’s wise to bear your overall wedding theme in mind when dress shopping. If you’re prioritising sustainability, why not look for a second-hand dress? With a few tweaks, vintage dresses can look stunning and you’ll be cutting the carbon footprint of your wedding down even further. You could also hire a wedding dress to save both cupboard space and money.
Again, considering how your dress ties in with your other decorative aspects is crucial. If you’re planning a casual, intimate wedding, you may be better looking for delicate lines and subtle lace dresses over glistening, diamante embellished ball gowns. On the other hand, if your formal and lavish wedding is pulling out all of the stops decoration wise, you need a show-stopping dress to match.
5. Don’t forget your budget
It’s no secret that new wedding dresses are expensive, so be sure to ask the right questions when it’s time to shop for yours. Discuss payment plans, alteration options, and accessory choices with your bridal consultant to ensure your chosen dress is not only perfect, but realistic too.
When first browsing and trying on dresses, it’s a good idea to start at the lower end of the price bracket. That way, you can work your way up if you haven’t found something suitable, but you may also walk away with a bargain.
6. Take your time
Whilst it can be equally exciting and stressful finding the perfect wedding dress, these top tips should help you get a head start on the most important things to keep in mind. Take your time and trust your instincts, as much like with your partner, when you find the right dress for you, you’ll know.
Add a comment to let me know how you chose your dress... what was the most important consideration? where did you find your dream dress? And if you're looking for your wedding photographer, I'd love to chat!